Before we offer any plaudits, we should recall that this was his position as defense secretary in 1991, when he described the policy as an "old chestnut" and when his chief spokesman was my old friend Pete Williams, an openly gay man who is now a TV journalist. But, as with marriage rights, where he uttered pro forma - but carefully parsed - support, Cheney never moved a finger to help on any of these issues as vice-president, and led a party whose homophobia has become more and more pronounced with every year that has passed.

But it is a good sign that this issue is finally, mercifully becoming a non-issue. I long for the day when we no longer have to debate or discuss it.

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